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Friday, 21 February 2014

A Land Divided

When you see what’s going on in the Ukraine today, you have to despair for the human race ... this is a country, where the population share a common religion and is one colour, is comparatively well educated, nourished and mostly has jobs etc. So democracy should have worked well, but it hasn't, and the country teeters on the edge of civil war ... torn between two camps whose views are so diametrically opposed as to apparently make a peaceful resolution impossible.

The political issue is ostensibly whether the Ukraine moves towards joining the European Union, or Joins the new Russian / Asian trading block ...a simple enough choice one might think, but in fact its the striking block for much discord

However there are in fact a number of underlying issues, which have ensured that the Ukraine  acts like, and feels like two countries, not one:

Language: In fact the western part of Ukraine, speaks Ukrainian - a group, which is related, to Polish and Belarusian, which is why large parts of what’s now the western area of Ukraine and Belarus was part of Poland before WWII. While the eastern part of the country, speaks Russian, as for centuries it was part of the 'Motherland'. The current ethnicity is listed as:
  •     77.8% Ukrainians
  •     17.3% Russians
  •     4.9% others / unspecified

Language Groups Of Europe Today

History: There has never really in fact been a country in the Ukraine. The land it occupies has nearly always been split between the Russian Empire (and Soviet state) and the others (The Poles, or the Austro-Hungarian Empire) - the two parts therefore share no common thread to weave the parts together.
  •  Kievan Rus' and territory of Ukraine up until 1240
  •  The Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia (or Kingdom of Halych-Volynia) between 1245 and 1349.
  •  Lithuania, Rus' (Ukraine) and Samogitia until 1434.
  •  Polish–Lithuanian–Ruthenian Commonwealth or Commonwealth of Three Nations (1658).
  •  Ukrainian Cossack Hetmanate and territory of Zaporozhian Cossacks (under rule of Russian Empire) (1751).
Language Spread In Europe at 1918 - Reflected Empires - No Ukrainian

Politics: Again there is largely a east west split – the ruling ‘Party of the Regions’ is eastern supported and pro Russian. The opposition is split amongst a few parties, but all are pro EU integration, and are led by the pro-EU 'Udar' movement. The popular vote is nearly 50/50. There are also radical right-wing groups, like 'Right Sector' and 'Common Cause' who are stirring up trouble, but whose agenda is unclear as they wouldn’t be welcome inside the EU.

Power Blocs: Under President Putin, Russia has regretted the old USSR letting some regions leave (Belarus and the eastern Ukraine particularly gal for historical reasons as they were never really independent nations). Putin has tried therefore to stop the Ukraine slipping into the EU and Western camp. He has backed the ruling party by a mixture of carrot and stick.

The EU and US want the Ukraine to drift to the West, but won’t fight Russia over it, and therefore a low level proxy civil war (with the Russian backed side the likeliest winner in an armed conflict), is on the verge of breaking out.

Last minute patched up agreements are being stitched together, and just as quickly unravelling, before being cobbled back up again …. They look to be in the bar of the last chance saloon. It’s a sad world when even a nation that has so many pluses, can collapse, but it makes the collapse of so many construct nations in Africa and the Middle East, perhaps more understandable.

3 comments:

  1. With the pro Russian Government ousted and on the run, the Russians are increasingly growling about "vital national Interests" and protecting the "Russians" in the country in the East and Crimea regions. All this sounds just like when they seized parts of Georgia by force.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think its still in the balance as to what the Russians will do ..... Now that the Olympics are over will Putin do a Brezhnev and invade another country?

    ReplyDelete
  3. As everyone knows, the war is on, with Crimea back under direct control ans the two eastern regions 'contested' between separatists and the Ukrainians. Could go on for years.

    ReplyDelete

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